VIDEO: Comeback kings see off Israel
Monday, 05 September, 2011
Second-half fightback sees Young Lions beat Israel in Barnsley.
By Jamie Bradbury at Oakwell
Click here for video highlights of the game.
England Under-21s came from a goal down at half-time to run out 4-1 winners over Israel in Barnsley.
Second half goals from Martyn Waghorn, Marvin Sordell, a Nathan Delfouneso penalty and Henri Lansbury, made for an impressive comeback as the new-look Three Lions built on Thursday’s Euro 2013 Qualifying win over Azerbaijan.
But this one was a friendly, allowing Stuart Pearce to make nine changes from the side in Watford four days earlier as he looked at some more fresh faces. Just defender Craig Dawson and captain Jack Rodwell retained their place.
There were three debutants in the shape of Manchester United keeper Ben Amos, Everton midfielder Ross Barkley and Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom, while there were four other first-time starters; Dan Gosling of Newcastle United, Marvin Sordell of Watford, Jonjo Shelvey of Liverpool and Hull City loanee Waghorn.
However, England had very little to smile about during a first half that was largely dominated by Israel. 17-year-old Barkley, who was lively in his first outing and looked comfortable on the ball, delivered a powerful 19th-minute strike from 25 yards which was one moment to savour, but goalkeeper Boris Kleyman parried away well.
Shelvey came close from the same distance, this time from a free-kick which beat the wall but dipped just a fraction too late, missing the bar by a whisker. There were also headers at the back post from both Dawson and Gosling, but the first was stopped by Kleyman and the second missed the target.
It was the visitors who were enjoying the night, though, and went in front on 25 minutes with a breakaway goal after an England corner had been cleared. With Israel attacking three on two, the ball eventually found its way to Mohammad Klibat on the right hand side of the penalty box. He cut in and sent a curling left foot effort beyond Ben Amos and into the net.
Captain Nir Bitton was a fraction away from making it two five minutes later, steering Davidzada’s pull-back goalwards, but it just missed the post.
England saved their best for the second half when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came on the scene. The Arsenal winger made an almost immediate impact and within 13 minutes of the break they were level.
Chamberlain glided down the right flank before sending in a perfect cross to the back-post where Waghorn was on hand to guide a header in for his second goal in two appearances for Pearce’s men this season.
Sordell made it 2-1 just two minutes later, to cap off a man-of-the-match display. Having already seen two strikes saved by Kleyman earlier in the half, there was no stopping this screamer from the Watford man that flew all of 30-yards from his left-foot into the net off the upright.
Substitute Delfouneso, who rarely misses from the spot in training, came on to score England’s third. Chamberlain was again the instigator and after being fouled inside the area while running at pace, Delfouneso stepped up to slot home the penalty.
Lansbury then wrapped up the win in stoppage time, smashing home from close range after picking up a pass from Chamberlain on the run into the area.
And with two tough away qualifiers coming up next month, ten goals and two victories this week will fill the Young Lions with the hope that they may see Israel again on their territory in 2013.